The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

November 14, 2012

Sandy, others help with Sandy relief effort

By Ian Faulkner, Staff Writer

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — With the recent disaster in the northern part of the country, many folks are coming together to try and help those displaced by Hurricane Sandy. The students at Gray Stone Day School developed a unique way to raise money to assist in those efforts. They hosted a cookie contest to raise money to donate to the American Red Cross.

The contest was planed and executed by the school’s Octagon Club and took place during lunch Friday. Octagon members baked the cookies and judged the competition. The object of the game was to see who could eat the most cookies, from a plate of 15, in a minute and a half.

“We baked all the cookies; they’re all sugar cookies. We wanted to raise money to send to the Hurricane Sandy relief effort,” said Kaitlyn Kubacki, a member of the Octagon Club and one of the judges of the competetion.

According to Kubacki, to enter the competetion, students needed to register beforehand and pay a $5 entry fee. The winner of the contest earned bragging rights and a $10 bill.

“We’re going to pass around a basket to take up more donations for the Hurricane Sandy relief efforts,” Octagon Club President Sarah Goodnight said as the contest was about to start.

Seven participants gathered around the table and stared down their plate of confections, psyching themselves up before the cram began. Each participant was allowed a cup of milk and/or water. Students of all ages from around the high-ceilinged cafeteria gathered in close, forming a ring around the participants.

At the signal, students started shoveling cookies into their mouths, hand over fist. Some dunked their cookies in their milk or water, hoping to moisten the cookie enough to make it go down easier. Others just stuffed their cookie-holes with as many as they could.

“I’m giving you all a head start,” said Gregg McCollister, a math instructor at Gray Stone, as he waited for the other cookie contest entrants to get a couple of cookies deep.

Once time was called, the contestants stepped back from their demolished plates of confections and the judges surveyed the damage.

Sophmore Nathaniel Sandy, 15, was declared winner of the cookie contest, having eaten nine cookies in just a minute and a half. Sandy grinned ear-to-ear as his cookie-eating prowess was declared for all to know.

“Our students here are really active and involved in their extra curricular activities. They go all out for whatever fundraiser they do. Whether it’s for school or raising money for Hurricane Sandy. We just try and let them go at it,” McCollister said.

After the first round of the cookie contest on Friday, the Octagon Club had raised more than $125 through participation fees, but they will probably end up with more than that after all the numbers have been totalled.